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Migration flyway of the Mediterranean breeding Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis emigratus

Hamza, Abdulmaula; Baccetti, Nicola; Sultana, Joe; Yahia, Jaber; Zantello, Marco; de Faveri, Adriano; Cutts, Nick; Borg, John; Azafzaf, Hichem; Defos du Rau, Pierre; Bourass, Esam; Etayeb, Khaled; Elliott, Michael


Abdulmaula Hamza

Nicola Baccetti

Joe Sultana

Jaber Yahia

Marco Zantello

Adriano de Faveri

Nick Cutts

John Borg

Hichem Azafzaf

Pierre Defos du Rau

Esam Bourass

Khaled Etayeb

Professor Mike Elliott
Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences/ Research Professor, Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies


© 2016 NISC (Pty) Ltd. The Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis emigratus breeding population in the Mediterranean is found exclusively in Libya, on the two coastal islands of Gara and Elba and one wetland on the mainland coast at Benghazi. In order to improve knowledge of the species migration to wintering quarters in West Africa, a ringing programme was conducted from 2006–2008 and 2009–2012. From a total of 1 354 nestlings ringed using metal and/or colour rings, 64 were recovered along their flyway and in their wintering range, representing 6.9% of birds ringed with both colour and metal rings. This provided the opportunity to collect information on post-natal movements (staging and wintering ranges), breeding philopatry and recruitment, in addition to a preliminary estimate of their migration journey duration. This paper indicates sighting and recovery distributions in space and time, highlighting the important areas for the species during its journey between breeding and wintering sites. The findings indicate that several areas where ringed terns stop-over during pre- and post-breeding migration journeys are not protected, causing an additional threat to their survival, as some wintering areas are also not protected. Conservation of this highly localised and threatened population needs not only to address protection at breeding sites but also at migratory stop-overs and wintering strongholds.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 31, 2017
Journal Ostrich
Print ISSN 0030-6525
Electronic ISSN 1727-947X
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 88
Issue 1
Pages 53-58
APA6 Citation Hamza, A., Baccetti, N., Sultana, J., Yahia, J., Zantello, M., de Faveri, A., …Elliott, M. (2017). Migration flyway of the Mediterranean breeding Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis emigratus. The Ostrich, 88(1), 53-58.
Keywords Breeding, Lesser Crested Tern, Libya, Migration, Ringing, West Africa
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